Dengue fever, typically absent in Florida, has been raising alarms as the state reports an uptick in cases. Broward County, including the bustling city of Fort Lauderdale, is now under alert for the mosquito-borne illness, joining its neighboring Miami-Dade County.
The Florida Department of Health identified two new dengue cases in Broward County between July 30 and August 5, bringing this year’s total in the state to 10. Interestingly, a majority of these cases surfaced in July. Miami-Dade County bears the brunt, hosting most of the reported cases.
It’s also worth noting that these 10 cases have been confirmed through PCR serotyping, ensuring precise identification of the dengue strain. While the number seems alarming compared to last year’s two cases in Broward County, it’s crucial to point out the potential source. Nearly 200 individuals diagnosed in Florida this year had recently visited areas known for dengue. Among these, 10 were visitors to Florida, and one unfortunately had a severe form of the disease. Additionally, you can also read about- Dengue Fever: How to Protect Yourself and Your Family
Travelers coming back from dengue-prone regions can inadvertently introduce the virus to local mosquitoes, leading to such outbreaks.
Although some groups like pregnant women, the elderly, infants, those with previous dengue infections, and people with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the disease, it can severely affect anyone.
The national picture is also concerning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has flagged 225 dengue cases across the U.S. this year. The disease became a matter of national notification in 2010, emphasizing the need for continued vigilance against its spread.